Computers and the law

Computers are fantastic - they help us to learn, share, communicate and find entertainment. However, it is also possible for computers to be used to aid illegal activities. An understanding of computer-related laws in the United Kingdom is needed to make sure we stay on the right side of the law.

Computers might be used unlawfully in many ways, for example:

  • allowing someone to illegally share your personal data
  • helping to steal financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank account details
  • helping to illegally copy and distribute films, television programmes and music
  • extorting information or blackmailing someone

Additionally, the internet allows people to commit crimes remotely, for example a hacker could gain access to a computer on the other side of the world. Laws are required to help deter such activities.

Character hacking into online banking database

There are three laws to consider: